January 13 - Encountering God
The most significant time in Jacob’s life had come in the most unexpected place, where he was on his way fleeing from his brother Esau. God revealed to him in a night vision and spoke to him from the top of the ladder connecting heaven to earth. There God confirmed the blessing his father Isaac had given him earlier: he was to have the land as an inheritance, along with many descendants, with expanding territories in all directions and eventually all the nations of the earth would be blessed because of him and his descendants.
Jacob’s response was conditional, using many “if’s” before his vow to build a house for God and to give Him his tithes. Such conditional commitment only showed that Jacob did not have much knowledge about God. That was why God introduced Himself to him as the God of his fathers and His name is Jehovah. He might have heard about God from his parents, but he did not have a first-hand encounter with Him. This happens a lot for second-generation believers, needing to have a faith of their own, not just worshipping the God of their fathers. This encounter with God proved to be foundational to Jacob’s life and faith.
Meeting God in our lives is also foundational to our faith, the more that we meet with Him, the more our faith will grow. Like Jacob, we may hear God’s affirming words, His promises and His plans for our lives. This is the way that we get to know God more and more, not from head knowledge but from encounters with Him. The ruler whose daughter was close to death learned that Jesus could raise the dead and it was never too late if Jesus was there. The woman who suffered from a discharge of blood knew of the kindness and power of Jesus towards the hopeless. The two blind men pleaded for mercy and because of their faith, they were made whole. Every encounter with Jesus resulted in a miracle and no one was ever the same.
The apostle Paul’s goal in life was to know God through the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of suffering, both were experiential and not just intellectual or informational. Jacob knew of God from the mouths of his parents but he needed a personal encounter for his spiritual eyes to be opened. All those who were touched by Jesus had heard of Him earlier but they took the step to actually meet and touch Jesus.
Our goal is to meet with God, not just to know more about Him but to know Him personally. Your faith will grow if you see Him and hear from Him more. What is your plan in meeting with God more? What are some hindrances that have stopped you from meeting up with Him?
Ps 9:1-6 Gen 28:1-29:35 Matt 9:18-38 Prov 3:11-12